Tolson Memorial Museum, Huddersfield. 'A Local Museum with no excrescences'

  • Ann Denham

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Tolson Memorial Museum is a locally funded museum opened in 1922. It is in a building which is a legacy from the textile industry of Huddersfield. This imposing edifice is a testimony to the skill and ingenuity of the people in this part of Huddersfield. It was the working class people who took advantage of their environment to develop the local woollen cloth into a world class product. This dissertation provides a brief account of the textile industry and explores its growth in the hands of three interrelated families and the legacy that they left.

The dissertation does, however, major on the Tolson Memorial Museum, its role as a local authority museum and an example of public history. The town of Huddersfield was late in creating a museum and this study explores the circumstances for this. It focuses on the importance of groups of local people in their collecting of natural history and the studying of their environment and how this was particularly popular in the Huddersfield area.

It reports on the effect of the creation of further education in the West Riding of Yorkshire and the ground breaking research of Dr Woodhead, academic and museum curator, in his local area. It demonstrates how this interest in the local environment influenced the plan for the Tolson Memorial Museum drawn up by Dr Woodhead and how this plan developed and created a successful local museum.
Date of Award22 Jun 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBarry Doyle (Main Supervisor)

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